Folks, It’s Now or Never for Healthcare Reform

More and more folks are without insurance, those with insurance find when faced with a serious illness they do not have the coverage they thought they had, costs are skyrocketing, and the economy is tanking. The time is ripe for healthcare reform and according to Uwe Reinhardt, Professor of Economics and Healthcare Policy at Princeton, if we don’t get it done now it won’t happen (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=101706614). I totally agree with his argument. These are dire times we’re living in. People are losing jobs along with their healthcare insurance in record numbers, kids are graduating from college and not being able to afford healthcare insurance, and those with insurance are all too often finding that their claims are denied when their expenses are high. Healthcare expenses is the leading cause of bankruptcy in America today.

Much of the refusal to accept universal healthcare comes from what Professor Reinhardt calls “cognitive dissonance”. This is when we have two different arguments about a single issue that are in conflict with one another. For example, the argument against universal healthcare goes along the lines that the government has no right to mandate that I buy healthcare insurance!!! The discordant argument is that if I get hit by an car and am bleeding in the street I  have the right to be taken by ambulance to the ER and treated to save my life. See the conflict? Don’t you think we have to pay for that emergency care?

As I have argued in previous posts, we must stop using metaphors like socialized medicine which brings images of long lines of people waiting for their number to be picked for healthcare. Instead, we must think of healthcareas we’re all in this together. Tit-for-tat. Instead of circling the wagons to protect what we think we have, we must open our arms and embrace one another. As Professor Reinhardt asks, what kind of country do you want to live in? Do you want to live in a country where you lose your job, you wind up losing your healthcare insurance, leaving you one illness away from bankruptcy and homelessness? I  hope  your answer is no!

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